Bill Pyles was born August 31, 1923. He was raised on an 80 acre farm on the outskirts of the industrial town, Flint, Michigan, during the depression. He worked in a General Motors factory to earn money to go to college. He enrolled at Central Michigan College of Education in 1942-had a rural school teacher scholarship-joined the Navy Reserve, and in 1943 became apart of a pre-officer’s program for the Navy called V-12.

He graduated with a B.A. degree in sociology from Central Michigan in 1945, and went directly to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois-graduated with a degree in New Testament Interpretation from the school of theology, Garrett, in 1947, under the egis of the U.S. Navy-both on active and reserve duty.

He worked for a year as a Rail Road roust about in Chicago, studied voice at Hull House. In 1949 he became director of the Recreation Therapy department at Manteno State Hospital in Illinois, and then at Galesburg Hospital for geriatric mentally ill.

Bill has written poetry since he was school child. He has self-published his, “Tissues of Lives”, has been in several chap books, had poems in newspapers and other publications. He is a member of the art gallery BWAC in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He was part of the coop art movement on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, in the 60s and 70s.

Voodoo Skidoo

Voodoo Skidoo! Skidoo Voodoo!
Skidoo Voodoo! Voodoo Skidoo!

Voodoo Skidoo! Skidoo Voodoo!
Your love spells from ancient nations
bring gross, erotic devastations;
with eerie, creepy complications!
Skidoo Voodoo! Voodoo skidoo!

Voodoo Skidoo! Skidoo Voodoo!
Cast your forceful spells that make love true.
Don't stir romantics in a stew,
leaving them a returned billet-deux!
Skidoo Voodoo! Voodoo Skidoo!

Voodoo Skidoo! Skidoo Voodoo!
Skidoo, Skidoo! Voodoo, Voodoo!


CYNTHIA TORONTO, a California transplant, is recognized as a forerunner of cutting-edge Spoken Word Performance. An award-winning poet, she has written eight books of poetry with her work appearing in several anthologies and video documentaries on Los Angeles poets. She has been featured in the New York venues, Four Horsemen and Pink Pony readings at
the Cornelia Cafe, The Bowery Poetry Club, Stark, Otto’s Shrunken Head, Gathering of the Tribes and many others. Upcoming: Nomad’s Choir and The Green Pavillion series. Also a seasoned character actress and educator, she currently teaches Acting and Speech as an Adjunct Professor at City College of New York and Borough of Manhattan Community College.


To all tenants:

Please do not spit in the elevator
as if we have to ask you again

The landlord

Your used crunched napkin left between two leaves of the plant in the lobby
wreaks germs spreading into my oxygen and H2O

Your visitors’ stained unrecycable styrofoam cups left in the entryway
crowd my trash can of recyclable garbage that has a promised permanent home

Your neighborhood stalking strangers’ mock key entry
blocks my special cut ones that now get stuck in the lock

Your cigarette smoke lingering near the mailboxes
chokes my asthmatic breathing as I cough open my mail

Your pounding broomstick from your ceiling thumping to my floor
vibrates mental noise so I can’t work through the problem of your paranoid schizophrenia

Your cat’s urine demanding scent space between floors ! - 6
slows down my trip upwards into the F region where there IS no human or animal waste YET

Your mothballs fly into our 6th Floor hallway buzzing
their smell of death onto my clothes still hanging in the closet 4 doors away

Your dirt mixed with an occasional jumbo outdoor dead roach edges into my doormat &
slips into my need to suddenly become an obsessive-compulsive or a science fiction buff

Your overcooked fish seeps through our shared wall
forcing me to take a shower to exorcize your protein demons

Your blaring middle eastern polka disco music blends in with my CNN news viewing
erupting into a new type of civil war message not yet publicized worldwide

And I stay huddled in my apartment surrounding myself with my preselected sounds and music,
mirroring my preferred internal reality including unique art from dear friends adorning the periphery,
fresh food and produce for tasting, and imaginings privately held with my earphones
and plastic gloves in place, protecting me from the contagion of 1920’s urban building disease
prescribing my future healing into self-contained peace

Copyright 2008


Adriana Scopino is a part of the NYC poetry circuit and she can be seen in an upcoming performance at the Stone, created by R. Nemo Hill, based on the works of poet Robert Desnos.

The Language of the Sea Winds

What if we are being guided
from stone to stone

across a jetty
over a green ocean.

Desires that drift
like sea grass--

his heart was like an empty mansion--

and hope is as opaque
as sea glass
in black sand.

I want to build a ship
in the center of my being
and learn the language
of the sea winds
from there.


No Bio b-s, not for me,
just blow-hard pride, dull facts
that mask thin poetry

-Jay Chollick

Madman Speaking

New storms up there—thunder
in the head—bravado-brained, it bursts!
and with
such force, that I, with terrifying hands, now coddle
meteors! Will myself
cruciferous. And briny dazzled, turn sudden
clam! owning, as if born into it, its
Morbid juice. I will—I must! toward
foreign ecstasy, creep newly born—or
eel-like, twist; work heavy human
into it, find glass and there somehow, re-silver
and touch in mirrored memory
the acned boy; slim blush and fumbled
sexuality—to be ingenious! To throw off cells,
leap leaping from oneself, pop-eyed
and singing madrigals!—to be another’s
bloodline, flowing
Smooth. But pity—all these flame-lit
possibilities, seem repugnant
now, they bring me, tugging madness,
to the
sharpest edge I feel
Unhinged. This brain has rust corroded
lobes, they make me thrash; or glued
to stodgy platforms, make me sit; watch
fireflies; the deep bending
of a continent, the twilit haze—but not,
full-flood organic, to partake
of them, to simply
Sit; grow thin, dry husked, and papery—to lose
the wing; the latitude; the infinity
of lines. And who
denied their liquid fingers, touches
light? This sanity is
Too sad for me. I’d rather say—come here
magnificence! you be
gardenia; and I, turning leather—oxford
or anklestrap, I’m someone’s


Thomas Fucaloro feels if only he used the right conditioner and hair cream, his poems would be better.

i think my dog is worried about me

i see it in the ridges of his eyebrows.
i need him more than he needs me.
hanging tongues don’t lie. they lick
the grit of it. the grind. my dog waits
for me to drop dead but i feel like demolisher
isn’t going to let that happen. he knows god.
most dogs do. they know how to save lives
and howl the ghost of Ginsberg leaks
through the bottom of my door. the tiniest
little something could. and i awake. get up off the floor.


Su Polo is a multitalented artist. A native New Yorker, her writingconveys unusual insights and surprises found in life's everyday events andencounters. She is a singer/songwriter, photographer, painter and sculptor,set designer, computer graphic artist and created her website Her book, Turning Stones, a collection of poems and stories is available atGotham Book Mart, and her work appears numerous times in Caprice Magazine,the Poet to Poet magazine, Medicinal Purposes among others. She is thefounder and co-host of the Saturn Series poetry reading in NYC and is theeditor and publisher of its periodical, Saturn. She is also the host of theArtists' Lounge, an open mike for singer songwriters and musicians @Nightingale Lounge.


We love our friends until they are mistaken about who we are. We love our parents until they try to take back what they gave. We love our jobs until they get in the way of our play. We love our play until it gets in the way of our consumption. We love our consumption until it gets in the way of our comfort. We love our comfort until it is disturbed by war. Perhaps we will fight until it is prevented by love.

© 2004/ 2007 Su Polo Original


Zev Torres’ most recent chapbook, “In Celebration of Hope and Change,” was published in January. A revised version of Zev’s first chapbook, “The Beginning of Time” will be published in the Spring. In addition, Zev will be releasing a full length collection of poetry and a collection of short fiction later in 2009. In addition to being the featured reader at numerous venues through New York City (including Otto’s Shrunken Head), Zev has also performed his poetry at the JVC Jazz Festival and the Make Music New York Festival.

A Speck

Now. At
Once. Without
Hesitation or
Delay. This
Instant this
Second. Right
Here. No where
Else. This
Place this
Spot. Neither
Inside nor
Out. Just here.
As we
Speak and
Listen on this
Speck floating
Overjoyed or
Uncertain partly
Both. Maybe
Aroused yet
Guarded. To
Defend or
Embrace. A
Flash a
Word cut
Short an
Carving up the
Sky like
Razor sharp
Shh. Look.
Right here. Now. At
Once. Look. All is
Well and


Michael Hyde is an actor, singer, writer, guitar player, video gamer, geek, and all-around good person. He was born and raised in Missouri, cut his unique chops in Virginia, and now brings his mish-mash of livelihood, truth and sarcasm to bear on the New York scene. Currently, Michael helps to raise money for an artistic non-profit organization in NYC while seeking a better acting paycheck. He has worked in the past as everything from a technical support consultant to a porn salesman. He has loved women and men; lost people close to him; done things he both cherished and loathed. He has lived. He has self-published one chapbook, and has a full-length paperback forthcoming from San Francisco Bay Press. Michael now lives in Queens.

by Michael W. Hyde

Hold me, child.
Hold me sunny,
strange days ahead now.

Brack river underneath my bones,
child, you will be wont to drink it;
resist every temptation.

Hold the weak now,
hold steadfast a soldier's mask
a deity's substance
hold fast now, child.

Coming miles up now and we forgave him naught.
Hold the line, child
Help me heal
wounds bandaged dirty
by the sun now

Hold the heals, child.
Hold me as you're breaking apart now
you're crazy if you want to make crazy
Hold the heals now.

Mend cracks in the skin
hold it together, child.
bleed the sun dry tomorrow

Hold tight now,
it's the sudden dancing macabre bodies underneath it all.
Secrets of secrets.
Hold me now, child,
if you want to see me.


Toby Hanchett Bio:

Toby Hanchett has published poetry in journals such as Candelabrum, Studio and Long Island Quarterly. He has been a featured poet at venues in the Boston area and New York City. He grew up in Long Island and now lives in Brooklyn: he started from Paumanok, wandered for awhile, and came back. He writes in order to see and hear and understand better - himself, others, and the World.


















Toby Hanchett


DAVID LAWTON has appeared as an actor Off-Broadway, had his plays performed Off-Off Broadway, and sang background vocals for ten years with the underground band Leisure Class. This past January, David co-produced Downtown Does Huncke For His Birthday, a program of stories by his old friend, beat godfather Herbert Huncke. He also loves jamming on his kazoo at The Shout Out.

Mystery at Otto’s

What is that schmutz
On the ceiling at Otto’s?
Did Otto’s shrinking head
Cause a splatter of brain matter?
Is it Hobo Bob’s toe jam?
Did a phlegmy Obsidian
Hock up a clam?
Maybe someone in this room
Has been hurling chunks
But we’ll probably never know
We simply have too many drunks.


David Elsasser has co-hosted the Saturn Series Poetry Reading for seven years. He has exhibited his photos of New York poets reading their work. His upcoming poetry chapbook, Last Call, will be published soon by Poet’s Wear Prada Press.

In protest of the Chinese Government’s South Street Seaport exhibit

David Elsasser - 5/06

Thank you silent men
your shed skins illustrate
globalization dissolves difference
but something’s more sinister
than Cheshire smiles suggest.
Sorry I won’t see your
body politic revelations.
You’re too sanguine for me
sinews of cooperation
flexed in laminated ease –
you two high-fiving,
is it good governance
or good riddance you salute?
You thumbing a ride
is it to melting pot
or glue pot you go?

Air of executed men
I fear your gallows giddiness.
What pitiful plea bargains
your hides bought.
Murderers in the flesh, maybe
but you, your meditative stare
recalls Falun Gong. And you,
breathless shout forever sealed
did you sound freedom’s call?
You with tireless climbing step
you look Tibetan.
Cares gone with epidermis
you all look lighter
if suspiciously good humored.
So what portent
your ghoulish second coming?
Is it less mayhem you signal
or just a clever scheme
to stash the bodies?


Gabriel Ariel Levicky was born in the former Czechoslovakia into the family of Holocaust survivors. After ‘mastering’ the indoctrinated education system, he soon joined the ranks of many skeptics. This ‘protective coat’ allowed him to see a troubled and confused society from the different point of view and as a result, he became involved in a dissident movement Charter 77.

As a young poet, inspired by the American Beat and music, he embarked on his own search and clandestinely published his first book of poetry Neznáma Poézia (The Unknown Poetry, 1977) in Bratislava, Slovakia.

In 1979 he decided to escape the persecution by the omnipresent and omnipotent State Security apparatus and via number of neighboring countries fled to Italy and to the US.
After a brief sting in NYC, he left for California and settled in San Francisco where he ran a series of poetry readings, got involved with a renewed Beat magazine publication Beatitude and published his second book of poetry The Unknown Poetry # 2, directly linking it to his first Slovak publication. He is published in numerous publications nationally and worldwide.

His latest poetry collection B(lack) & W(hite) Wet Paint Poems, encompassing his NY experience, was published and released by Xlibris (available on the Web via: Xlibris, Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble).


Born on the tightrope.
I can feel you down there.
Arms cutting through crowd’s awesome: Ah!
Look up!
Your are tiptoeing
Through the night,
Bribing the moon,
Stealing the stars,
Chewing on the dawn,
Sipping the sunrise,
Swallowing the first rays
Wind talks gibberish.
Born on the tightrope
Will walk you back home.
You can find love on the tightrope.
Born on the tightrope.
Feet kissing the air,
Head down,
Heart out.

NYC, March 2002
Gabriel Ariel Levicky


Elizabeth Smith is a writer and artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She has several short stories published in e-zines and magazines, including Terrain, Carve, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She has an extensive collection of pulp Westerns from the fifties, and her own writing and visual artwork dip into the genre’s style. Her western fetish reaches the acme of expression on her blog CowboyLands: From the Land of the Cowboys to You; or, The Modern Buckeroo’s Guide to the World ( She is a featured reader in New York City, and is the recipient of residencies and fellowships for her novels Loveland and You Only Get One Chance to Be El Latigo.

We Are Prime Time; or, Change (the Channel)
by Elizabeth Smith
January 19, 2009

In times of moral confusion
I turn to prime time
where good can conquer evil
in the space of sixty minutes (minus twenty for 3.9 percent financing on Chevy pickups
and Viagra porn).

Once upon a time
primetime showdowns between good and evil came in a haze of gun smoke and rawhide.
Men bristled with single-action revolvers and laconic one-two punches.
They had only half an hour
but without fail,
the good guy won.

(Good always won,
back then,
while these days it takes an entire season to conquer evil and the episodes are so confusing no one actually knows what happened,
or even if anyone won at all.)

We are what we watch.
Back then we used to be the cowboy, trim slacks and clean shirt aced with a tight concho
belt around our hips.
True to Cold War form, we’d posture and preen without crossing that line in the sand,
stroking guns and thumbing hats, staring and squinting, a détente in a western
town on a vacuum-tube boob tube that shot ramrods up every child’s spine so he
or she would grow up to be good little yes/no-black/white-right/wrong fighters for the American way.
Back then the villains wore their badness on their sleeve and everyone acted according to
Back then the hero never said much but told the truth
and torture
was having to wait for the next installment of Bonanza.
But back then has its own ghost images of armament build-up,
its own static-y pixels of injustices that flash beneath clean-cut white cowboys and
blonde horses.

We still identify with our heroes, now flat-screen knights in high-definition armor:
For eight prime-time years we were psychics and mediums, those Great Deciders who go
beyond laws and constitutional rights because a little voice tells them to.
We were mediocre reality-show contestants yearning for a fifteen-minute touch of
media Svengali
We were bloodthirsty paranormals who, sure of some great cosmic pattern that
common mortals wouldn’t understand, justified war to save humanity.
We were omniscient know-it-alls who sat in spider-dens of high-definition surveillance
We were plugged-in technical virtuosos in forensic labs and behind-the-scenes
commando raids.
We were above the law, below the radar, over the top, beyond mortal ken.

No wonder when we are hated, despised, laughed at, threatened, and killed.

So—we change our president: faith-based to people-based, insular to cosmopolitan, sound-bytes to elaboration, yes-men to debaters, threats to communication, isolation to interdependence, secrecy to transparency, black gold to green energy, division to union—like changing the channel from one hero to the other.

Yes, we can, we say.

And what will happen when the day after the inauguration turns into one of those weekend afternoons, when you flick through hundreds of cable channels, all proclaiming the change you need but looking the same?

Our primetime heroes are bigger than us, they are grander.
They have better teeth, more hair where we want there to be more, less where we wish
we didn’t have to wax.
They have more guns, better ideas, they never tire or give up hope.
They don’t get laid off, worry about paying health care premiums, or work minimum
wage—unless it serves a dramatic or comedic function.
But they have our DNA
our DNA that shouldn’t sit back on Target daybeds with bags of organic chips and bottles
of microbrewery beer, changing channels.

Change? We have to metamorphose, turn from us versus them to us AND them, which
will make
for boring TV,
but why not turn off the flat-screen and play a game of catch with your neighbor?
Or better yet, do something to make a difference.

Effect a change.


Native Brooklynite Precious Jones's poetry has been published in Gay Black Female Magazine, Coloring Book: An Anthology of Prose & Poetry, and Rolling Out UrbanStyle Weekly. Her writing tackles issues of race, sex, and sexuality, among other things, with honesty and wit. She gives thanks to June Jordan, Chrystos, Sapphire, and Neruda: four loving and passionate writers who fed her hunger for good poetry.

A Poem for Mary Woodson
(or when the definition of madness is love)

we call crazy a pot of
hot grits flying like bats toward the fleshy cave
of his back,
the blistered heat
of a woman's heartache
boiled down to dementia,
while tabloids spilled the
juice 'bout a pimp-turned-
afro'd soul singer
swimming in hominy
talking bout, I'm still in love with you, let's stay together, take me to the river, whistling dixie 'bout making love 'til lemon trees orgasm sweet and sour--
certainly he
promised her a lovesong,
something like
baby you been on my mind
'cause a good woman is
hard tuh find,
cloaked in slow groove blues on cruise, top down, skirt up, mary,
missing mother and wife
went AWOL for Al Green,
til husband came to claim her
like luggage,
she had a mental breakdown,
they said,
she was out to lunch
as black women in love
often are, i bet he made
promises insincere as his suffering,
impromptu baritone scat about a
diamond-ringed proposal on
soul train,
real time tender lovin' tender only
when he wasn't coked up or
windin' up on some other
pretty young thing, but mary

was a woman who loved so hard
she went postal
a woman who loved so hard
she'd rather
take two shots to the head
than make a mockery
of her fever-pitched passion
for a whoremonger:
who of us
hasn't been driven to
ponder revenge,
to fuck the best friend
or enemy of,
sister/brother of,
to gauge out the eyes of,
to headlock and head butt,
to stir corn grits in a
cast iron pot,
to scar our heart breakers
with grainy tattoos that say
"fuck you,
die hard and slow as jesus
on the cross"
I know he promised her
a lovesong,
voice smokey as a juke joint
whispering in her ear
about baby this and baby that
til she finally conceded,
yes, Al, I love you,
Al, I forgive you, Al,

I'll take you back


A young artist came into Michelangelo’s studio to show the great master his finished work of art. He did not get the kind of response he wanted when Michelangelo smashed the neophyte’s art project against the wall. Michelangelo looked up and said, “Learn the art of modeling before you learn the art of finishing.” In the ruins lies the discovery, I am not formed, yet, I must study. The road is long and difficult to discovery. This long road is what brought me from the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee in Western Palm Beach County, Florida to New York. He frequents the local spots on the poetry scene. He has more than 15 years as a classroom teacher. Presently he is a curriculum writer for the New York Junior Tennis League.

The President and the Negro
(Ralph Waldo Ellison)

Why scapegoat me?
I was there long before
Booker T. dined there
I helped build it,
maintained its frame,
polished its artifact,
cleaned the spittoons.
At Mt. Vernon,
I served mutton, wine,
And cheese on the portico
of Mt. Vernon,
made nails at Monticello,
at Montpelier,
kept hay beneath the bed of
James Monroe
Why scapegoat me?
Why hold back this moment,
the opening of
Sally Hemming’ closet.
The President has come


BOB HEMAN has edited CLWN WR (formerly Clown War) since 1971. During the late 1970s he was an artist-in-residence at the Brooklyn Museum. His collection "How It All Began" is available as free download from Quale Press at


The bears belong to all of us. Sometimes we change them into ostriches for our amusement. At other times we give them cars so they can drive through the forest and scare the frogs. The secret of course is that the bears are really afraid of the frogs. They know that a single frog kiss can change them forever into men like us, men restless and bored and searching always for whatever amusement they can claim from the animals who always surround them.


Linda Baldanzi is a MFA in Poetry student at Drew University. In the past she has studied poetry at the New School. Her poems have been published in REDIVIDER, BARROW STREET, AND THE WISCONSIN REVIEW. She lives on the Hudson River in NJ.Here is my poem:

Get your Elbows off the Table

Hold me tight, Julia Childs, both arms,
tell me I’m cooking good.

Huge accommodations for
the family vegetarians.

Damn fruit flies.

Prociutto smile wrapped around muck.
Dead animals kicking inside the refrigerator.

Not me, SHE shipped it off to Packingtown.

Looking out the kitchen window
Seeing the neighbor’s dog eating his poop.

A quick shot of scotch.

Strap me on the gurney, cloven hoofed,
small-horned Capra.

Okay, goatsuckers, target practice. Roll me
around the table, faster, faster…

I’ll take seconds on the leg of lamb,
Pass the gravy, please.


Vincent Quatroche has been a member of the Communication and English Department @ Jamestown Community College since 1997. He has BA in English and Master of Science in Education from SUNY @ Fredonia. In addition to his adjunct position with JCC, Vincent has been a member of the faculty in the Communication Department @ Fredonia State College since the late 80s. Mr. Quatroche is also an Instructor in Adult Education for Erie-2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES @ the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville NY since 1996. He is a published author of numerous creative projects, including audio recordings and books. His poetry has been distributed widely throughout the United States and abroad. A profile of his work appeared on PBS in 1998. Mr. Quatroche's professional credentials and accomplishments are recognized and included in the 25th edition of the International Biographic Center's Dictionary of Who's Who in the Field of Education, Cambridge CB2 #QP United Kingdom, England.

Where is Mr. Cedric ?

Cedric sat at the bar
on a Sunday Night
under the Chrysler
Building’s Crown
listening to the
last of the past year
Summer Sound
recede from his ears.
Cedric had run from
one end of the state
clear to the other
to get to
to get away from…
And tonight facing the three
oversize hyper illusion inducing
representations of reality in
brutal corporate gladiatorial contests
only he knew where he was
And what this
Cedric was all about.
had a clear tendency
a persistent preference
to defer his obligation
for actual presence.
Old friends got together
to peck and paw.
Relative’s Funerals
All social obligations
large or small
Mr. Cedric
sent his fond regrets
to one and all.
And his absences
had become
Cedric finally
had them all
right where
he wanted them
(to stay)
(that was)
right where
they had left him
years ago
so sure of themselves
and his ability
to remain
As an anchor
a channel marker
a tombstone molding
denoting their past.
Cedric was intended
to be their own little
hometown version of Dorian Gray.

But now
He was nowhere to be found
information sketchy
Heads left scratching
at the end of the day
with no word come from him
to repeat, misquote and betray.

Cedric ordered another one
Smiled at the bartender
and thought….

“How’s that feel ?

How’s that taste ?

VQ 10/30/07


Vanessa Boyd performs, writes, creates, spurts, expunges, generates, expands, renews and declines words, music and art.

Her spoken word is coming

Bible Belt

Have you been to the Bible Belt?
Have you been to the House of the Lord.

I pray for your souls at night,
in the spirit of the Lord.

I’m ashamed of the clothes you wear,
I’m ashamed of the words you say,
I’m ashamed of the work you do,
I’m ashamed of your underwear.

Have you been to the Bible Belt?
Have you been to the House of the Lord.

I pray for your souls at night,
in the spirit of the Lord.

I’m ashamed of the thoughts you think,
I’m ashamed of the friends you make,
I’m ashamed of your heresy,
I live vicariously…

Come now to the Lord,
Come now to the Fold,

Come now to the Lord,
Come now to the Fold.

Praise Jesus, Hallelujah,
Praise Jesus, Hallelujah.

Sons beget sons beget sons beget sons
and for yrs they try to impress their father
for years the girls try to win their papa
and still this shit be running improper.

Behind every pundit is a liberal
who ain’t had a kid yet
and we all walk in line
thinking we’re counting our own time.

How do we break the moldof
ll the shit we’ve been told
just a game of throwing ball
are you a top or are you a bottom
you play the man you play the woman.

How do you break the spell
how do we be equal
tell you what
the first time we fuck
we’ll stand up
there won’t be any down…

Did you integrate the experience?
Well, what do you mean?

Or did you just absorb it?

Have you been to the Bible Belt?
Have you been to the House of the Lord.

Praise Jesus, Hallelujah,
Praise Jesus, Hallelujah.
Copyright Vanessa Boyd 2007


Patricia Carragon, Rogue Scholars, Poets Wear Prada, The Toronto Quarterly, CLWN WR, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Clockwise Cat, 6S, Luciole Press, Eviscerator Heaven 4, Flutter, Up the Staircase, Battered Suitcase, Kritya, Inscribed, Live Magazine, Tamarind, Riverfront, Soul Fountain, Stained Sheets and more have published Patricia Carragon’s work. She is the author of Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press). She is a member of Brevitas, a group dedicated to short poems. Patricia hosts and curates the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor of the annual anthology.
Sex and the Single Poet

Can sex sell poetry?

A single poet reads,
strips words off pages,
entertains educated earlobes
in a darkened room.
Her words perform –
focused like thespians,
minus the monotones of most.

But is anyone listening
or would they
had she been
less flattering in figure,
less flexible with fingers,
had road maps sketched
on her face and legs?

Some smile,
some applaud –
courtesies returned
for wet dreams given.

She leaves the podium
and takes her seat.

Can sex sell poetry?
Only for the moment…

Patricia Carragon June 2007


Joshua Meander, when he recites a poem it's a theatrical experience. When he host a reading it's a tribal ceremony. Joshua has run the Nomad's Choir reading series since 1989 and publishes a magazine by the same name.


Through the walls of the apartment
Next door, a newborn baby's crying,
Brassy as a hurricane,
Screaming octaves as potent
As Hasidim weeping earnestly.
Cry on, baby. The world is scary.
Wail like a jazz trumpeter
In his attempt to wake the
Sleeping prophet in us all.
The real coming attractions
Are lurid enough to make pimps sob.
Caption after caption, the handgun
Is glorified to ghetto
Youth like a grand aphrodisiac
To boost their manhood tenfold.
Frame after frame, and the genocide
Flips onward to bleed another group:
Orders droned by atonal minds
New cast members for brutal sequels.
Jailed Republicans on the airwaves
Goad on rejects toting cheap flags.
Packages received in sweaty palms:
Mail bombs have replaced angry letters.
May the sound of this crying baby
Seep through the rafters and preach
To the world its S.O.S.




I pause to acknowledge
Between this tick and another
As tic-tock-tick…
Goes merrily on

I have a feeling of being abbreviated
An acronym that spells an obscenity
In parenthesis

To dispel this impression
I count to a hundred
And look down at the world

Is life in the present
A shadow of numbers
That change without order
And end with a zero
Subtracted by one?

Am I talking to you, fire hydrant?
Since that which has two legs
And an absence of good will
Might spit, bite, or explode

Expecting the unexpected
(INVERT, continued)

I collide with a street
That walks through my body
And leaves me in doubt

To shrink and expand
With a shrug, or a wink
A hello, or goodbye
Am I man or amoeba?


Evie Ivy is a dancer/poet in the NYC poetry circuit. She’s been writing since childhood. Her work has been heard in venues throughout the Tri-State area, radio and Cable TV. Evie loves to work with both free verse, syllabic and metered form. Her “Dance of the Word” programs have been seen at the Bowery Poetry Club, Cornelia Street Café, Tribesgallery, among others. She has two chapbooks out and a book, “The First Woman Who Danced,” which contains most of her poetry based on her experiences as a dancer/instructor. Evie has been hosting poetry readings for more than 15 years. She hosted the long running, Moroccan Star Poetry Reading and presently hosts one of the longest running poetry venues in the NYC area, the Green Pavilion Poetry Event also in Brooklyn, whose anthology “Dinner with the Muse,” will be out soon.

This Poem
for Norman G.

This poem every time I look
at it, it's different, it doesn't
have the same wording - it changes.
This poem runs in different ways,
it comes up with a different
color and flavor. It stops to tell
me not to worry but drips all

over, with my life. This poem
constantly changes. I try to keep
it still, as it runs free around
the scenery of past and present
as if it was looking for something
missing. It takes me in different
directions telling me about
yesterday while it wants to live
in today. It stops to tell me
not to worry. Sometimes it leaves

me for days, and comes running back
to alight on too many things.
I want to keep it confined, controlled.
This restless poem that every time
I look at it, is the same yet
different, this poem running,
running full of hope, this poem is me.


Craig Fishbane is a writer and teacher in New York City. His work has been published in the New York Quarterly, Flashquake, Opium and Night Train. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2008.

Targets of Opportunity

A collection of words and phrases
from the media coverage of the newest Gulf war
in the form of a love poem

This report comes to you live by video phone
From the front lines.
We have conflicting information
But the resistance has been light.

We are embedded—you and I—on the southern bank of the Euphrates river.
We feel pretty good that we’ve covered a lot of ground
But there could be some untidiness as we go forward.
Secure is somewhat of an overstatement.

Are we a coalition of the willing
Or just targets of opportunity?
I won’t comment on what’s under our control now—
The operation has not concluded.

Your assets are considerable:
You give me great flexibility.
You stretch out your lines of communication.
You’ve got a great refueling point.

We put out the fires that are burning
With precision and care
But the toughest fighting still lies ahead—

A sustained commitment.
Large parts of the city have been plunged into darkness.
A sustained commitment.
Huge plumes of smoke.
A sustained commitment.
Six months at least.
A sustained commitment.
It could be years.
A sustained commitment.
Statues toppling, mass looting.
A sustained commitment.
It’s quite possible things will implode from within.

The dust is in every piece of equipment we have
As we try desperately to devise new defenses
But we’re better at this than we used to be.
This will be a campaign unlike any other in history
Because you know as well as I do that weakness is provocative:
It entices people to do what they otherwise would not.

We have ongoing contacts
And it’s only intensified in recent days:
Moving rapidly.
It’s going to slow down.
Moving rapidly.
It’s going to slow down.
It’s ongoing.
It’s various.
The outcome is certain.
The skies of Baghdad are lighting up.

We want to return to the Pentagon now:
Doing it the best possible way—
Strike package:
Tomahawk, stinger, bunker buster.
Laser guided precision.
Hellfire missiles.
The use of special forces.
The strikes are rolling.
The outcome is certain.
Better at this than we used to be.
Moving rapidly.
We’re hearing explosions.
The outcome is certain.
The outcome is certain.
Shock and awe.
Shock and awe.
Shock and awe.
Mother of all bombs!

Smoking cigars in Saddam’s palaces.
Lives have been saved.
Night has fallen in Baghdad.
Secure is still somewhat of an overstatement.
But the front lines appear to be shifting.

And now back to basketball.

--Craig Fishbane



Crack pot crack pot
sitting in a chair
Crack pot crack pot
way over there

When a poet reads you have to speak
there you go get up and shriek
who knows what the fuck's your case
bust you with a glass across your face

Come over here, you shut your hole
Your poetry's weak, you're so droll
So sit your ass, and keep it still
When you are here you'd best to chill

Because hospitallization is not your thing
But I bet your skull will surely ring
And who knows what your day will bring
But all the poets will surely sing

Happy oh their day will be
you knocked out they'll surely see
I tell you, I'm not a violent man
But knock you out, I surely can

So enjoy yourself, sit and smile
save yourself such a trial
Be silent child and do not speak
And then we'll see your ass next week

- 2009, Hobobob